A quick question about Grande Sonnerie Vienna Regulators

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by Peter Planapo, Dec 9, 2019.

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  1. Peter Planapo

    Peter Planapo Registered User

    Mar 23, 2019
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    Hi all,

    I might be offered a 3-weight Becker, but the owner doesn't know if it's a Grande Sonnerie.

    Are there some 3-weight VRs which are not Grande Sonnerie?

    If so, what does the third train do?

    Thanks
    Peter
     
  2. 124Spider

    124Spider Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    I'm no expert, but I have a three-weight Becker, so I pay some attention to them; I have never seen a Becker 3-weight Vienna regulator that wasn't a grande sonnerie.

    Mark
     
  3. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

    Jun 1, 2006
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    Not all three train VRs are grande sonnerie, I would imagine most are just the usual quarter striking.
     
  4. Peter Planapo

    Peter Planapo Registered User

    Mar 23, 2019
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    Thanks J, this clock is a non-runner, how could one know which was which without hearing it? Can one tell by looking at the gongs for instance?

    Peter
     
  5. 124Spider

    124Spider Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Not trying to be contrarian, but I do question why a three-train clock would be "just the usual quarter striking," when two trains would do that just fine (I own three clocks that strike the quarters--all petite sonnerie--and all are two-train clocks). Not that my knowledge is particularly extensive, but I have never heard of a three-train Becker Vienna regulator that was not a grande sonnerie, and I have seen many, many three train Becker VRs; if one weren't, it would be, I strongly suspect, a chiming clock (not a quarter-striker), but I have never heard of a chiming Becker three-train VR.

    Mark
     
  6. 124Spider

    124Spider Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    You can be quite sure that if a three-weight Becker VR has only two gongs, it's a grande sonnerie clock.
     
  7. Peter Planapo

    Peter Planapo Registered User

    Mar 23, 2019
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    Not sure I get it, if the GS has 2 gongs, how many gongs would a non-GS 3-wt Becker VR have, and what would be the striking pattern?

    Could another indicator be the front plate, i.e. if there's 2 sets of rackwork, one for each weight, would that mean GS?
     
  8. 124Spider

    124Spider Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    A three-weight clock will (obviously) have three trains. The second (again obviously) would count the hour. The third would be either another striking mechanism, or a chiming mechanism. If it were a chiming mechanism, it would have more than two gongs. If it isn't a chiming mechanism (and, as noted previously, would be very surprised if it were a chiming mechanism), it's a striking mechanism. And if it's a striking mechanism requiring a third train, with only two gongs, it's a GS strike. So if it has three trains and only two gongs, it's a GS. QED. :)
     
    Old Rivers likes this.
  9. Peter Planapo

    Peter Planapo Registered User

    Mar 23, 2019
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    Thanks for the dolt-proof explanation, I sort of do get it now. Thus, the right hand train, which I'll call the chiming train, has got to be for the quarter striking (1, 2, 3 and 4 strikes) with the left hand (striking) train running the hour strikes on the hour and the previous hour strikes on the quarters.

    That would be GS. If more than 2 gongs, then it'll be Westminster or some such thing, that's clear enough.

    But are there any 3-wt models which strike the quarters with the chiming train, but no "previous hour" with the striking train on the quarters? As GS was an expensive and desirable thing back then, it would seem pretty pointless to produce a complicated 3-train clock that wasn't in fact a GS but just a quarter-striker without the quarterly previous-hour strikes, as the mechanical difference, and so the saved cost of making, would be small, yet the retail value would be a lot lower (I think). Over-analysing?
     
    124Spider likes this.
  10. jmclaugh

    jmclaugh Registered User

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    The glaringly straightforward answer is there are a great number of examples of three train clocks which are just quarter strikers
     
  11. Peter Planapo

    Peter Planapo Registered User

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    So, in a non-running clock, what to look for to tell the difference between a GS and a quarter striker?
     
  12. 124Spider

    124Spider Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    #12 124Spider, Dec 11, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    There are a great number of examples of three-train clocks that chime on the quarter hours, but I am not aware on any three-train clocks that strike (not chime) the quarters (other than grande sonnerie clocks).

    If I am wrong, I would love to be more educated on this point. Please show me one; more particularly, relevant to this thread, please show me a three-train Becker Vienna regulator that strikes (not chimes) anything other than the grande sonnerie.
     
  13. zedric

    zedric Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
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    I am getting confused about this now - and not sure what you are meaning by "strike (not chime)" in this context. Grande sonnerie implies that at each quarter, both the hours and the quarters are struck (the sequence for this depends on where the clock originated). Just striking the quarters is not grande sonnerie, it is just quarter striking.
     
  14. 124Spider

    124Spider Registered User
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    #14 124Spider, Dec 11, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    I was responding to another post.

    Chimes have music (e.g., Whttington; Westminster). Strikes don't make music; they just strike gongs for a certain number of times (e.g., ship's bells; petite sonnerie; counting the hour; grande sonnerie).

    What I meant was that most three-train clocks of which I am aware chime (in addition to striking the hour). The only three-train movement of which I am aware that strikes without chiming is the grande sonnerie, in which one train controls the counting of the quarter hours, while another train controls the counting of the hours. I was distinguishing between a clock that only "strikes," and a clock that "strikes" and "chimes."

    If there are other three train clock (particularly three-train Vienna regulators, that strike without also chiming, I would love to learn about them.

    Mark
     

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